House Republicans hosted a heated ‘family discussion’ over the fate of Number Three leader Rep. Liz Cheney over her vote to impeach President Trump – something she refused to apologize for.
‘I won’t apologize for the vote,’ she told colleagues in a roughly eight minute speech.
She won the backing of Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, who called for continuity even as he himself took heat for flying to Mar-a-Lago to meet with Trump just days after condemning his actions in his own impeachment speech where he ended up siding with the president.
‘I want this leadership team to stay together,’ said McCarthy, who wants to work with Trump to win back the majority and hopefully become Speaker.
The closed-door meeting quickly devolved into an gripe-fest. Rep. Tom Rice of Pennsylvania criticized McCarthy for his Trump meeting, which comes amid a GOP civil war over Trumpism, Politico reported.
GOP Conference Chairwoman Liz Cheney refused to apologize for voting to impeach President Trump during an angry conference meeting Wednesday
One bizarre comment came when Rep. Mike Kelly (R-Pa.) tried to use a football analogy to describe the apparent betrayal of Cheney voting for the impeachment article brought by Democrats of Trump for ‘incitement of insurrection.’
He compared it to ‘being at a big football game and seeing your girlfriend in the opposing team’s stands,’ CNN reported.
That prompted Republican women to shout in response that ‘Liz Cheney is not your girlfriend!’
The clash all came at a meeting where McCarthy announced leadership would not take action against Georgia Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene over a series of comments backing conspiracy theories, including saying horrific school shootings were false flag operations.
‘Past comments from and endorsed by Marjorie Taylor Greene on school shootings, political violence, and anti-Semitic conspiracy theories do not represent the values or beliefs of the House Republican Conference,” McCarthy said in a public statement.
“I condemn those comments unequivocally. I condemned them in the past. I continue to condemn them today. This House condemned QAnon last Congress and continues to do so today,’ he said, while announcing no formal action to strip her of committee assignments.
In a sign of where the balance of power lies, Taylor Green got a standing ovation when she rose to speak, Vice News reported.
Democrats were pushing for a floor vote to strip away her Taylor Greene’s committee assignments.
A total of 10 Republicans had voted to impeach Trump on a charge of ‘incitement of insurrection’ brought by Democrats before Trump left office.
The conference will hold a meeting, both in-person and over Zoom, on Wednesday where House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy will have to decide whether to launch a vote immediately or delay the issue and send it to an internal committee
Cheney, on January 13, was one of the 10 Republicans who voted in favor of impeaching Donald Trump for the Democratic article accusing him of ‘incitement of insurrection.’
She was also the highest-ranking Republican to cast a ‘yea’ vote for a second impeachment.
When Representative Matt Gaetz of Florida, who rallied against Cheney in Wyoming last month, was asked to weigh in on the matter by Capitol Hill reporters on Wednesday, he said: ‘My focus is on replacing Liz Cheney because I don’t think she represents our conference.’
‘This civil war in the Republican party… is not one in which the outsiders fired the first shot,’ Gaetz said.
‘Now Liz Cheney is a very special case and so we are playing by the rules that the establishment wrote,’ he said in potentially removing her from leadership and supporting a primary run against her in 2022.
In the 80-page legal brief released by the House impeachment managers on Tuesday – setting the stage for the argument for conviction, which they will present next week in the Senate trial – they name drop Cheney and her support for impeachment.
‘The Nation will indeed remember January 6, 2021—and President Trump’s singular
responsibility for that tragedy,’ the managers argue in their brief. ‘It is impossible to imagine the events of January 6 occurring without President Trump creating a powder keg, striking a match, and then seeking personal advantage from the ensuing havoc.’
It continued: ‘In the words of Representative Liz Cheney, the House Republican Conference Chair: ‘The President of the United States summoned this mob, assembled the mob, and lit the flame of this attack. Everything that followed was his doing. None of this would have happened without the President. The President could have immediately and forcefully intervened to stop the violence. He did not. There has never been a greater betrayal by a President of the United States of his office and his oath to the Constitution.’
HOUSE REPUBLICANS WHO VOTED ‘YES’ ON IMPEACHMENT
Liz Cheney – Wyoming. Republican royalty and House Number 3
‘There has never been a greater betrayal by a President of the United States of his office and his oath to the Constitution.’
Adam Kinzinger – Illinois. Outspoken Trump critic and Air Force veteran
‘If these actions are not worthy of impeachment, then what is an impeachable offense?’
John Katko – New York. Holds swing district and co-chairs moderate group
‘To allow the president of the United States to incite this attack without consequence is a direct threat to the future of our democracy.’
Fred Upton – Michigan. 14-term rep who co-chairs moderate group
‘It is time to say: Enough is enough.’
Jaime Herrera Beutler – Washington
Five-term rep in deep blue state
‘The President of the United States incited a riot. That riot led to five deaths.’
Dan Newhouse – Washington
One of only two GOP reps from state
‘Turning a blind eye to this brutal assault on our Republican is not an option.’
Peter Meijer – Michigan
Holds Gerald Ford’s seat
‘There was no such courage from our President who betrayed and misled millions.’
Tom Rice – South Carolina
Voted to overturn election results
‘I have backed this President through thick and thin for four years. This utter failure is inexcusable.’
Anthony Gonzalez – Ohio
‘The President of the United States helped organize and incite a mob that attacked the United States Congress in an attempt to prevent us from completing our solemn duties.’
Former NFL starting wide receiver
David Valadao – California
‘His inciting rhetoric was un-American, abhorrent, and absolutely an impeachable offense. It’s time to put country over politics.’
Reclaimed district from Dems in 2020
McCarthy has attempted to downplay the chasm created in the Republican Party by Cheney’s vote, claiming in a press conference last month that he wants her to remain GOP Conference chair.
Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell has also voice his support for Cheney
‘Liz Cheney is a leader with deep convictions and the courage to act on them,’ he said in a Monday statement. ‘She is an important leader in our party and in our nation. I am grateful for her service and look forward to continuing to work with her on the crucial issues facing our nation.’
Even Donald Trump ally Senator Lindsey Graham has said he feels it would be wrong to strip Cheney of her leadership post.
‘I believe @RepLizCheney is one of the strongest and most reliable conservative voices in the Republican Party,’ the South Carolina Republican tweeted. ‘She is a fiscal and social conservative, and no one works harder to ensure that our military is well prepared.’
‘Liz knows that a strong America is a safe America,’ he continued. ‘She believes we must confront radical Islam and take the fight to them to ensure there are no more 9/11’s. In the eyes of many – Liz Cheney’s experience, leadership, and strength are invaluable to the Republican Party.’
Among the first to call for Cheney’s ousting from leadership was Representative Matt Rosendale of Montana.
‘When Representative Cheney came out for impeachment today, she failed to consult with the Conference, failed to abide by the spirit of the rules of the Republican Conference, and ignored the preferences of Republican voters,’ Rosendale said after the January 13 vote. ‘She is weakening our conference at a key moment for personal political gain and is unfit to lead.’
Gaetz, a Trump ally, held an event in Cheyenne, Wyoming last month rallying Republican voters to denounce Cheney’s vote to impeach Trump.
Wyoming is a deep red state that voted overwhelmingly for Trump in 2016 and 2020.
In order to successfully convict the former president for ‘incitement of insurrection’ in the January 6 Capitol riot, Democrats would need 17 Republicans in the Senate to vote in favor of impeaching – an unlikely feat.
The Senate trial will begin next Tuesday and, if successful, will strip Trump of his post-presidency benefits like Secret Service detail and pension and will bar him from running for president again.
The nine House Republicans who also voted for impeachment last month are Adam Kinzinger of Illinois, John Katko of New York, Fred Upton and Peter Meijer of Michigan, Jaime Herrera Beutler and Dan Newhouse of Washington, Tom Rice of South Carolina, Anthony Gonzalez of Ohio and David Valadao of California.